Brgy. Navalas, Buenavista
Province of Guimaras
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Historical accounts are not available presently to document the history and construction of the present catholic church of Navalas. However, three physical evidences relate historical facts: the first is the marker found on the facade of the church itself. The marker reads : ” El Fundador/ Para Mayor honor y gloria de Dios lo Edifico/ a su costa Don Miguel Jayme de nueve de Julio de ano 1880 y lo termino en 1885″
The second evidence is the bell which presently in the custody of the archdiocese which bears the following inscriptions: D. Miguel Jayme Neve Discu bierta/1882. The third is the church itself which bears the ravages of time. Its wall that is made of coral stones and rocks roughly hewn in some places is in itself testimonials of the age of the church.
As markers were used by man to perpetuate historical events and facts for record purposes, it would appear that the catholic church of Navalas was constructed sometime during the years of 1880 to 1885; under the inspired guidance of Don Miguel Jayme, a prosperous merchant of Navalas for the great honor and glory of God.
Bolstering this fact is the casting of bell sometime in 1882 for same benefactor. The annotation “Nueva Descubierta”, however, perplexes one’s attempt to pierce the veil of history. Could this bell has anything to do with the Spaniards discovery ship Discubierta whose track is recorded in Admiralty charts as noted by Sir John Bowring in his visit to the Philippine Islands in 1858.
The church was constructed by the village people through the “dagyaw” system. Miguel Jayme and his wife, Salvacion Javelona were the primary benefactors and thus given the honor to choose the patron saint of the church. St Isidore the Worker was the one chosen.
The coral rocks hewn into stabs for the posts and walls of the church were bartered for the women’s wraps(patadyong and other goods. To encourage the community to expand its faith, Don Miguel Jayme rewarded the religious churchgoers with clothing materials.
There was an incident according to history that the priest was captured and enslaved by the raiding Muslims. The Muslims punished him with hot rice gruel poured over his palms before he was carried away. Most of the church members fled from the muslims and seek refuge at Mt. Kasarig which can be viewed on the western side of the church. Because of this desertion of the faithful of the church in her hour of need, the said priest cursed the said incident and struck his hand on the wall of the church, which was said to have left its mark. – buenavistaguimaras.gov.ph